Cracks (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner03/12/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 104 mins

Beautifully shot, emotionally gripping story of schoolgirl obsession, with a trio of terrific performances from Juno Temple, Eva Green and Maria Valverde.

What's it all about?
Based on the novel by Sheila Kohler and directed by Jordan Scott (daughter of Ridley), Cracks is set in 1934 and stars Juno Temple as Di Radfield, the leader of a small clique at an isolated all-girls boarding school who enjoys her position as the captain of the diving team and the favourite pupil of impossibly glamorous teacher and diving coach Miss G (Eva Green). However, when a beautiful, aristocratic Spanish girl (Maria Valverde as Fiamma) arrives at the school, moves into their dorm room and turns out to be an expert diver to boot, Di feels incredibly threatened and is horrified when Miss G appears to fall under the new girl's spell.

The Good
Rising British star Juno Temple is superb as Di, conveying heartache, longing and sheer, burning jealousy with just a single look, while Eva Green is perfectly cast as the seemingly otherworldly Miss G who exerts a strange power over the girls (this isn't exactly an inspirational teacher movie). There's also great support from Maria Valverde, whose performance perfectly combines vulnerability, inner strength and just a hint of aloof otherness that sets her apart.

Scott creates a powerfully intense, feverishly obsessive atmosphere that works brilliantly and the film's inevitable descent into Lord of the Flies territory is extremely disturbing as a result. In addition, the film looks gorgeous throughout and John Matheison's impressive cinematography makes strong use of the stunningly beautiful locations.

The Bad
To be fair, the film takes a while to get going and drags a little in the middle section but it kicks into high gear for a suspenseful, exciting and powerful finale.

Worth seeing?
In short, Cracks is a superbly made, emotionally engaging drama that's worth seeing for the terrific performances from Eva Green, Juno Temple and Maria Valverde.

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Content updated: 15/12/2017 09:56

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